While preparing for the new Whistleblowing Act, little has been said so far about the fact that in addition, the Misdemeanour Act will also be amended, envisaging a fine of up to HUF 200,000 if the company takes adverse action against the whistleblower or prevents or attempts to prevent whistleblowing.

We have already written about who are concerned by the Whistleblowing Act, now let’s look at the sanctions for breaching the Act and how to avoid them with the help of a whistleblowing attorney.

In what cases are we committing an offence?

According to the amendment of the Misdemeanour Act, an offence is committed in the following cases:

  1. The company takes adverse action against the whistleblower.

An adverse action can be any retaliation against the whistleblower, such as threatening or dismissing the whistleblower.

  1. The company prevents or attempts to prevent whistleblowing.

Such cases include, when the company

– physically or by virtue of IT actions frustrates the submission of a report, or

– effectively blocks the investigation of the report.

What sanctions can we face in case of breaching the Whistleblowing Act?

In the above cases the person(s) committing these actions may be fined. The amount of the fine can range from HUF 6,500 to HUF 200,000.

How can a whistleblowing attorney help you?

You can easily avoid the sanctions mentioned above by hiring an attorney.

A whistleblowing attorney acts as a bridge between the anonymous whistleblower and the company, and his or her tasks include:

– receiving whistleblower reports related to the client’s activities,

– providing legal advice to the whistleblower on how to make a report,

– liaising with the whistleblower,

– if necessary, (s)he may request information and clarification from the whistleblower,

– assisting in the conduct of an investigation following a notification,

– updates the parties on events relating to the notification,

– reports on the outcome of an investigation initiated following a notification.

It is high time to start preparing for the Whistleblowing Act. If you have any questions about setting up a new system or hiring an attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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